TOPEKA, Kan. – A Kansas man who donated sperm to a lesbian couple after answering an online ad is fighting the state’s efforts to suddenly force him to pay child support for the now 3-year-old girl, arguing that he and the women signed an agreement waiving all of his parental rights.
The case hinges on the fact that no doctors were used for the artificial insemination. The state argues that because William Marotta didn’t work through a clinic or doctor, as required by state law, he can be held responsible for about $6,000 that the child’s biological mother received through public assistance – as well as future child support.
At least 10 other states have similar requirements in their laws, the Kansas Department of Children and Families argued in a prepared court documents.
Marotta, a 46-year-old Topeka resident, answered an ad on Craigslist in 2009 from a local couple, Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner, who said they were seeking a sperm donor. After exchanging emails and meeting, the three signed an agreement relieving Marotta of any financial or paternal responsibility.
But the Kansas Department for Children and Families argues the agreement isn’t valid, because instead of working with a doctor, Marotta agreed to drop off containers with his sperm at the couple’s home.
The women handled the artificial insemination themselves using a syringe, and Schreiner eventually became pregnant, according to court documents.
Late last year, after she and Bauer broke up, Schreiner received public assistance from the state to help care for the girl.